Exploring new toxicological safety assessment technologies for the food industry

Background

New tools in the assessment of toxicity focus on developing a better mechanistic understanding of the biological interactions and pathways involved, through the application of cellular and molecular based methods, combined with computational approaches. These methods are designed to measure biological perturbations, rather than toxicity per se. Hence, some changes may reflect desirable effects whilst others may reflect untoward effects, depending on the concentration of the chemical present. This is particularly important when considering food. Hence, this task force is investigating how these new approaches can be applied in risk assessments that are relevant to the development of safe foods and food ingredients.

Upcoming

A new activity on the ‘Application of Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOPs) for Foods and Food Ingredients in Risk Assessment’ will be launched in November. The task force intends to organise a workshop in late 2018 on this topic.

Objectives

The task force aims to be at the forefront of advances in the safety assessment of food, proposing guidance on the utility, development and application of novel methodologies to assess hazard and risk in the food chain. Using appropriate cutting-edge methods will contribute towards the supply of safe foods/food ingredients.

Impact

The publications on ‘Establishing the Level of Safety Concern for Chemicals in Food without the Need for Toxicity Testing’ (B. Schilter et al., 2014) and ‘Considering New Methodologies in Strategies for Safety Assessment of Foods and Food Ingredients’ (B.J. Blaauboer et al., 2016) led to the formation of this young task force. The first publication alone has been cited 19 times and the second manuscript has been cited 3 times to date.

For more detailed information, please contact Dr Bettina Schelkle at bschelkle@ilsieurope.be

Task Force Members

 

Expert Group

Application of Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOPs) for Foods and Food Ingredients in Risk Assessment – NEW

Objectives
The activity aims to:
•Understand the coverage of existing AOPs for foods and/or food ingredients; and
•Identify the necessary additional information required to enable AOPs to be implemented for quantitative risk assessment and regulatory use to support the shift from animal testing to non-animal approaches in food safety risk assessment.

Activity
As a first step, a group of experts will investigate the coverage of the toxicological endpoints used by available AOPs (by authorities) to derive Acceptable Daily Intakes (ADIs). This will result in the identification of potential further work areas in AOP development which are of particular relevance for the food industry.
In parallel, a second group of experts will work to provide guidance on AOP development with the aim to incorporate relevant information to facilitate their application in quantitative risk assessment for foods and/or food ingredients.
As these topics are already being pursued elsewhere more generally, the context of food relevant AOPs identified in the first step would serve as a specific focus area for this activity.

Expected Outcome
The outcome of the activity is expected to provide guidance for industry and risk assessors in the food sector to maximise the utilisation of emerging toxicological science that is more human relevant and less animal-dependent.

Exploitation of ToxCast Data on Food Chemicals for Safety Risk Assessment

Objectives
A high throughput screening programme of chemicals for potential toxicity (ToxCast) was performed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The ToxCast Expert Group aims to explore how the data relevant to the food industry from the ToxCast programme can be exploited and to assess the utility of the data and methods for their use in the safety risk assessment of food chemicals.

Activity
The experts are building on earlier work commissioned by ILSI North America in which over 800 food relevant chemicals within the ToxCast programme were identified through assessing approximately 860 in vitro biological assays/endpoints.

Expected Outcome
This activity will draw conclusions on the extent to which the chemical structure, use category and toxicological profile of food-relevant compounds can be used to assess their safety for human consumption and handling. Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOPs) may be developed based on these conclusions. A guidance will be prepared on the use of such approaches.

Expert Group Members

Application of Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOPs) for Foods and Food Ingredients in Risk Assessment? – NEW

 

Exploitation of ToxCast Data on Food Chemicals for Safety Risk Assessment

 

Publications

All Publications

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